News for 1 July 2010

All the news for Thursday 1 July 2010


Hockeyroos pushed by Ireland but record the win

The Hockeyroos have been tested by Ireland in the first of their three match series in Dublin, but emerged 1-0 winners overnight.

After winning the recent four nations tournament against Germany, Ireland and India last week in Germany, the Hockeyroos took to the pitch confident of putting forward a good performance against Ireland.

While the Hockeyroos were able to generate more circle penetrations and shots on goal, Ireland were more than competitive, keeping Australia goalless in the first half.

A great goal to NSW striker Emily Hurtz just minutes after half time gave Australia the lead, with Ireland unable to score in the second half, giving the Hockeyroos the victory.

Australia will next play Ireland on Saturday 3 July in Dublin.

Hockeyroos 1 Ireland 0 (0-0 half time)
Goals – Aus Emily Hurtz 37m FG

Hockey Australia media release



Victories for Netherlands and Argentina at Rabo Trophy

Netherlands and Argentina opened the Rabo Trophy both with a victory in Alkmaar, Netherlands. The Dutch team defeated China (3-2), while Argentina defeated New Zealand 2-1.

The Rabo Trophy is a four nations women’s tournament to be played at four different locations in Netherlands.

Please click here for more information about the Rabo Trophy.

Please click here for live broadcasts of the Rabo Trophy.

WorldHockey



Pakistan recall senior players

Zeeshan Ashraf returns as captain but Sohail Abbas remains out

By Khalid Hussain


KARACHI: Just weeks after being blamed for leading Pakistan to a humiliating last-place finish in this year’s World Cup, Zeeshan Ashraf has returned as the national team’s captain for next month’s tour of Europe.

Also back in the 18-man touring party are several other seniors including goalie Salman Akber, midfielder Waseem Ahmed and strikers Rehan Butt and Shakeel Abbasi for the European sojourn aimed at preparing the team for the all-important Asian Games in China this November.

But the country’s hockey chiefs snubbed Sohail Abbas, Pakistan’s most successful hockey player in recent years, after the short corner specialist stayed away from Wednesday’s national trials as well as a preparatory camp that preceded it.

Sohail apparently ignored a Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) invitation to attend the camp to protest against his unceremonious axing from the national team for the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup held in Malaysia earlier this year.

Sohail was tipped to become Pakistan’s captain for the Malaysian assignment but was dropped from the team as the selectors opted to go for several youngsters in the squad.

Several other senior players including Salman, Rehan and Abbasi were also snubbed by the PHF for the Malaysian assignment. However, they opted not to protest against it.

Pakistan were forced to recall the senior players after their team flopped in the Azlan Shah Cup, finishing fifth in the event.

The national selectors and team officials are currently looking for ways and means to raise a strong and capable squad in a bid to regain the Asian Games crown.

Pakistan hockey hit a new low last March when the four-time former champions finished last in the World Cup. The embarrassing result forced the PHF to appointed Dutchman Michel van den Heuvel as the team’s new coach till the 2010 Olympic Games in London.

The Dutchman was present at the one-day trials held at the Hockey Club of Pakistan Stadium here on Wednesday.

The squad was later named by chief selector Hanif Khan, a former Pakistan Olympian.

Hanif also announced the Pakistan Whites team which will feature in a quadrangular event in China in July.

Pakistan squad: Salman Akber, Imran Shah, Zeeshan Ashraf (captain), Mohammad Imran (vice-captain), Amir Shahzad, Mohammad Irfan, Waseem Ahmed, Mohammad Rashid, Fareed Ahmed, Mohammad Tauseeq, Kashif Javed, Rehan Butt, Shakeel Abbasi, Haseem Khan, Shafqat Rasool, M Rizwan, Waqas Sharif, Umar Bhutta.

Pakistan Whites: Imran Butt, Wasif Siddique, Tasawer Abbas, Khalid Bhatti, Saleem Nazim, Mohsin Bilal, Hasan Akhtar, Abdul Ghaffar, Sabtain Raza, Zeeshan Ali, Waqas Akber, Kashif Ali, Muhammed Jaffar, Azlan Khan, Abdul Qayyum Dogar, Waqas Khan, Muhammad Waqas, Naghman Ahmad.

The News International



Dropped seniors make unexpected comeback

By Shazad Ali


KARACHI: Selectors took a U-turn on Thursday when they unexpectedly recalled underperforming Rehan Butt, Waseem Ahmad and Shakeel Abbasi for Pakistan hockey team’s tour of Europe next month.

Apart from the trio, call-up to goalkeeper Salman Akbar is also surprising as the goalie ignored the invitation for the Azlan Shah Cup camp and left to play in a league abroad after the World Cup debacle.

Another veteran brought back into the fold is full-back Zeeshan Ashraf who was one of the three who “requested for rest” after the World Cup in New Delhi. Zeeshan along with Rehan, full-back Sohail Abbas, half-back Waseem, and forward Akhtar Ali, were in fact asked by Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) secretary Asif Bajwa to “take rest”, although they were invited for the Azlan Shah Cup camp.

While Zeeshan, Akhtar and Waseem obeyed, Sohail joined the camp which also forced Rehan to report. Both Rehan and Sohail were chopped by the selection committee led by Olympian Hanif, saying it wanted to “give them rest” as they did not show spark and commitment during the training camp.

Akhtar failed to earn selectors’ nod for forthcoming tour, while goalkeeper Nasir Ahmad was once again put on the chopping block in favour of Salman who miserably flopped at the World Cup.

Although the return of Zeeshan is understandable, considering the fragile defence, inclusion of Rehan, Waseem and Shakeel is incomprehensible as they certainly never performed extraordinarily during the camp – a reason for which Rehan and Shakeel were axed in the first place for the Azlan Shah Cup.

Not only did Rehan and Shakeel remain underachievers at the World Cup, there are reports that they also had a tiff which was one of the reasons for team’s poor show at the 12-nation event.

The present scenario suggests that either the selectors took a wrong step when they “rested” Rehan, Shakeel and others for Azlan Shah Cup or they have blundered now as selection committee was elated on the performance of the young and new-look squad which finished fifth in Ipoh without having seniors.

Although the selectors announced the senior and whites squads, sources said Rehan, Waseem, and Shakeel have been included on the insistence of the new coach Michel van den Heuvel who is perhaps the first foreign coach in Pakistan and professional coach in the world who has accepted the existence of the selection committee.

Rehan also supported this thought when he categorically said that he and other senior players, not selected by the selection committee earlier, had been called up on the wish of the coach.

“You know better than me how things work here. I mean we have a Pakistani system and people compromise on several things in Pakistan hockey. But a foreign coach never thinks like this. He just selects the team on merit. I and other senior players who were not selected have been invited only on coach’s wish,” Rehan had told Dawn.com few days before the team announcement.

Hanif, however, had denied that the veterans had been called to the training camp on Heuvel’s wish, saying the selection committee was very much in control and independent.

Asked had he been the coach, would he have accepted the selection committee’s existence, Hanif replied in negative.

“These senior players were invited by the selection committee and not the coach. As far as the selection committee is concerned, I would have submitted by own squad without any inference and input from anywhere. I would have dictated my terms and conditions in selection matters as a coach,” Hanif told Dawn.com.

Roelant Oltmans, another Dutchman in-charge of green shirts in 2004, had vehemently stated he would be the sole authority for the selection which had made the Akhtar Rasool-led selection committee redundant.

Hanif, however, said the squad had been formed after getting the input from Heuvel which was a usual practice in Pakistan hockey.

“This squad has been formed after consultations and consensus. The seniors were not discarded earlier and they are not discarded now. They were just rested and those senior players who are not selected are also being rested,” Hanif told reporters at Hockey Club of Pakistan.

Hanif was particularly all praise for Muhammad Tauseeq, saying “he could become another Akhtar Rasool.” One hopes Hanif was referring to Akhtar’s skills as a hockey player not as a politician.

Zeeshan, who captained the national side at the World Cup, will once again wear captain’s band, while Muhammad Imran, who was skipper in Ipoh, will be vice-captain.

While PHF is unaware of the whereabouts of penalty corners specialist Sohail, the full-back is reportedly playing in a league in Bangladesh.

Pakistan senior side will play matches in Spain against the hosts and France before games against the Netherlands. The tour, which starts from July 10 ends on 18.

According to Hanif, five senior camp trainees – Imran Butt, Tasawar Abbas, Zeeshan Ali, Kashif Ali and Abdul Qayyum Dogar – have been selected for Pakistan Whites who are to tour China to play a four-nation tournament from July 7 to 11.

Interestingly, Mohsin Bilal, Abdul Ghaffar and Qayyum have been mentioned as Pakistan Customs players, although the department doesn’t have a hockey squad and did not even field a team in the national championship this year.

Seniors squad:

Goalkeepers: Salman Akbar, Imran Shah.

Full-backs: Zeeshan Ashraf (captain), Muhammad Imran (vice-captain), Amir Shahzad.

Half-backs: Muhammad Irfan, Waseem Ahmad, Muhammad Rashid, Fareed Ahmad, Muhammad Tauseeq, Kashif Javed.

Forwards: Rehan Butt, Shakeel Abbasi, Haseem Khan, Shafqat Rasool, Muhammad Rizwan, Waqas Sharif, Umar Bhutta.

Officials: Manzoor Hussain (manager), Michel van den Heuvel (coach).

Pakistan Whites squad:

Goalkeeper: Imran Butt.

Full-backs: Wasif Siddique, Tasawar Abbas, Khalid Bhatti.

Half-backs: Saleem Nazim, Mohsin Bilal, Hasan Akhtar, Abdul Ghaffar, Sibtain Raza, Zeeshan Ali.

Forwards: Waqas Akbar (captain), Kashif Ali, Muhammad Jaffar, Azlan Khan, Abdul Qayyum Dogar, Waqas Khan, Muhammad Waqas, Naghman Ahmad.

Officials: Wassem Feroze (manager-cum-chief coach), Muhammad Shahbaz, Muhmmad Ikhlaq, and Rana Zaheer (assistant coaches).

Dawn



PHF names squads for Europe and China tours

Selectors recall Zeeshan, Salman, Rehan, Waseem

Staff Report


KARACHI: The Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) selection committee, headed by former Olympian Hanif Khan, Wednesday named Pakistan senior and Pakistan Whites teams for the upcoming tours of Europe and China. The selectors recalled four senior players Zeeshan Ashraf, Salman Akbar, Rehan Butt and Waseem Ahmad. They were axed from the team for Azlan Shah Cup in Malaysia earlier this year. The seniors will tour Europe as part of their preparations for the Commonwealth and Asian Games in the second week of July. They will play six matches during their 9-day trip to Spain and the Netherlands. After playing four matches in Spain on double round robin league against hosts Spain and France from July 10 to 15, Pakistan will play two back-to-back matches against the Dutch in Holland on July 17-18. “Matches against the European teams are very important in build-up for Commonwealth and Asian Games and in raising the pool of 20 to 25 players,” the chief selector told reporters. The Whites will compete in a four-nation tournament to be held in China from July 7-11.

Pakistan seniors: Salman Akbar and Imran Shah (goalkeepers), Zeeshan Ashraf (captain) Mohammad Imran (vice captain), Amir Shahzad, Mohammad Irfan, Waseem Ahmed, Mohammad Rashid, Fareed Ahmed, Mohammad Tauseeq, Kashif Javed, Rehan Butt, Shakeel Abbasi, Haseem Khan, Shafqat Rasool, Mohammad Rizwan, Waqas Sharif and Umer Bhutta.

Pakistan Whites: Imran Butt (goalkeeper) Wasif Siddiqui, Taswer Abbas, Khalid Butt, Saleem Nazim, Mohsin Bilal Hasssan Akhtar, Abdul Ghaffar, Sibtain Raza, Zeeshan Ali, Waqas Akbar, Kashif Ali, Mohammad Jaffar and Ali Azlan Khan.

The Daily Times



Ireland Men's Team Selected to Face France in Three Match Series

Paul Revington has announced a squad of 21 players to take on France in a triple header set to take stage at Cookstown from the 1st - 4th July, which will provide spectators at the Junior Celtic Cup with more action at the top level.

In addition to the squad of 18 used in the recent Celtic Cup, Revington has called in Peter Blakeney, Michael Maguire and Bruce McCandless. Commenting on the upcoming fixtures he said The squad are looking forward to the games against France, especially as it will be a French team boasting more senior squad players who were absent from the Celtic Cup held this past weekend.

Squad:

David Ames (Cookstown); Joe Brennan (Glenanne); Chris Cargo (Reading); Peter Caruth (Annadale); Tim Cockram (Lisnagarvey); Mitch Darling (Leuven); David Fitzgerald (Monkstown); Alan Giles (Pembroke W); Paul Gleghorne (Loughborough); Ronan Gormley (Pembroke W); Conor Harte (Pembroke W); John Jackson (Mossley); Eugene Magee (Dragons); Geoff McCabe (Dragons); Andy McConnell (Pembroke W); Alan Sothern (Pembroke W); Iain Walker (YMCA); Phelie Maguire (Leuven); Peter Blakeney (Three Rock Rovers); Michael Maguire (Three Rock Rovers); Bruce McCandless (Banbridge).

Schedule IRELAND V FRANCE

1st July Ireland v France 20.00 Cookstown
3rd July Ireland v France 18.00 Cookstown
4th July Ireland v France 18.00 Cookstown

Irish Hockey Association media release



Dutch club edges T&T hockey men

T&T senior men’s hockey squad continued their preparations for this month’s Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games, in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico with a 2-1 loss to Eindhovense Mixed Hockey Club of Holland on Tuesday. For T&T, Defence Force’s Marcus James got the lone goal following a brilliant pass form Petrotrin’s Dwain Quan Chan.

Although there was little circle penetration from the T&T men they still maintained good structure and ball possession in the first 35 minutes of the game to go into the half with a 1-0 lead. In the second-half, the Kwandwane Browne-captained national squad continued to enjoy most of the ball possession but two unforced errors resulted in two goals, denying T&T victory. The T&T team which will return home from their European tour on July 9 has so far won two matches, loss two and drawn one.

Following the CAC Games the national men’s indoor team will then take centre stage as they compete at the Indoor Pan American Championship, August 9 to 15 in Barquisimento, Venezuela. The Commonwealth Games is carded for New Delhi, India in October, where the local men have been placed in Pool B along with England, New Zealand, Canada and South Africa. Reigning champions Australia are in Pool A with Pakistan, India, Malaysia and Scotland.

TEAM

Starting XI: Justin Pascal, Solomon Eccles, Shaquille Edwards, Jovan Woodward, Andrew Vieira, Akim Touissant, Mickel Pierre,
Chad Pedro, Evan-Piers Farrel, Dominic Jaikaransingh, Marcus James

Substitutes: Carlos Steven, Kwandwane Browne, Matthew Tang Nian, Dillet Gilkes, Dwain Quan Chan, Darren Cowie, Christopher Scipio

Did not play: Andrey Rocke, Atiba Whittington, Wayne Legerton, Aidan De Gannes

The Trinidad Guardian



FIH launches micro sites for three major events

The International Hockey Federation (FIH) has launched the official micro sites for the upcoming three major events: the Youth Olympic Games, the Samsung FIH Champions Trophy and the ABN AMRO FIH Champions Trophy.

As for all its World Level Events, the FIH establishes special tournament websites for the Samsung FIH Champions Trophy (11-19 July), the ABN AMRO Champions Trophy (31 July-8 August) and the Youth Olympic Games Hockey Tournament (16-25 August).

The websites will feature live scoring, all tournament news, official match sheets, interviews, videos, photo gallery, match previews and all other interesting news of the event.

For the Youth Olympic Games, the special url www.worldhockey.org/yog has been created.

Please click here for direct access to the Samsung FIH Champions Trophy official website

Please click here for direct access to the ABN AMRO FIH Champions Trophy official website

Please click here for direct access to the YOG Hockey Tournament website

WorldHockey



Connor Grimes retires from National Team Program

By Cecilia Carter-Smith


Some weeks ago I filed my final submission to Field Hockey Canada. Or so I thought.

Upon review of my “sidebar submissions” I noticed a major imbalance. The field hockey pitch leaned heavily in favour of sketches about our national women excluding similar sketches about the remarkable young men on our national teams.

I assure you it was not an intentional infraction. I simply got on a roll scribbling about the accomplished young women who suit up for the red and white and the ball kept rolling. Before I knew it I had completed my assignment – ten submissions.

Noticing my imbalance I connected with the Ottawa office – apologized - and assessed myself a penalty. A red card. Now that I have served my banishment from the field of play I have returned to the pitch and decided to scribble a few more pieces for the Field Hockey Canada site.

So here goes:

Not long ago I received a dispatch indicating that 2008 Olympian, Connor Grimes, a B.C. boy and an eight year veteran of the men’s senior side decided to retire from the national program.

The decorated Brentwood College School (Mill Bay, Vancouver Island) graduate called it “a difficult decision to step down from the (national) team.

“It was a decision that took me a long time to make but I needed to invest in other parts of my life and that was not possible while playing on the national team,” said the 2007 recipient of the distinguished (B.C.) Premier’s Athletic Award.

“Amateur sport has become professional in all aspects and if Canada wants to excel at the highest level, then full commitment by everyone is a necessity,” said the 2007 Pan American gold medallist and Pan Am All-Star. “I feel that my commitment to the team was definitely one of my greatest contributions.”

The formidable frontliner continued, “I believe in recent years that this is what everyone in the team had done (i.e. full commitment to the team), and that allowed us to play in the recent Olympic Games (2008) and World Cup (2010).”

I asked the 27 year old former “grasshopper” what attracted him to field hockey over more traditional Canadian sports like ice hockey, football, even lacrosse.

“Growing up in the Cowichan Valley (centrally located between Victoria and Nanaimo on Vancouver Island) and playing field hockey (beginning at age 5) with my family is what really made me start to enjoy the game. My mother was, at the time, competing in the ladies field hockey league on Vancouver Island. To get the kids involved with the games most of the mums put them in the kids league and that’s where the grasshopper leagues come from.

“My brother (Rich) and I were always on the same team and always battled to do better than one another. And that’s where all the training started!”

Connor continued, “Field hockey was always after soccer season and I had to choose between baseball and field hockey. Field hockey had many of the same aspects as soccer and was far more exciting than baseball (to me anyway!).

“Although the (field hockey) season was only a couple of months long, I loved it and it was definitely a passion of mine from a young age. I always wished the season was longer.”

And indeed the season did become longer.

Not unlike so many Canadian kids watching the Olympic Games the “grasshopper’s” appetite for the game grew.

“The Olympics is ‘the show’ and the ultimate destination,” said the engaging national. “Everything started to become clear when I was 12 or 13. It was around the time of the Atlanta (1996) Olympic Games and I knew that an opportunity was there to play field hockey in ‘the show.’

“At that age there was a small group of boys that were all competitive athletes from Duncan (B.C.) and we all played field hockey together. We all spoke of some day playing in the Olympics.

“A couple of years down the road I started playing at the men’s level for the Victoria Selects and I got to play with not only some great players but national team athletes (too). These guys were heroes in my eyes.

“Not long thereafter, the Sydney Olympics were on. Canada had qualified and was on national television. Sean Campbell and Ravi Kahion were teammates (of mine), and I was really excited for them and about the sport in Canada (and that I could prove to everyone that it wasn’t a ‘girls sport!’).

“From then on I knew it (the Olympics) was achievable but not an easy task.”

To be continued…

Field Hockey Canada media release



Unlimited selection

Dharmaraj plans to have a larger pool of talent

Haresh Deol


KUALA LUMPUR: Do not take your places for granted! That seems to be the warning issued by national Under-19 coach K. Dharmaraj as he plans to have a large pool of talent to choose from in order to select the "cream of the crop".

“I don’t want to be looking at just 20 players. I cannot limit my pool of players and I don’t want it to be a situation where players think they can hold me ransom instead,” said Dharmaraj.

“I’ve seen players drop out from the team for various reasons. Some want to concentrate on studies after secondary school so I can’t be waiting for them to decide. If they want to play, well and good. Otherwise, I have other players to choose from.”

Dharmaraj said this before joining his team of 20 players for a 20-day stint in Europe. The team will first play in a four-team tournament involving the Geneva selection, Zurich selection and the Lyon hockey club in Switzerland.

The team will then head to Barcelona to play against the Spanish Under-21 side before playing against Belgium, Scotland and Spain in another tournament.

Dharmaraj and Co are also expected to play Test matches against the Poland Under-21 team followed by matches against five Dutch clubs in Holland.

While some of the players have declined to go on the Europe tour due to examinations, some are involved in the Asean Schools Championship in KL next week.

“Perhaps this presents those who have not been given much opportunity to play, will be fully tested. At least I’ll be able to gauge their performance and consistency against good opponents,” added Dharmaraj.

Players who will be following Dharmaraj include Mohd Nor Faiz, Firahan Ashaari and Fitri Saari.

The team is also scheduled to play in four tournaments in India in October and five matches against the Indian Under-21 side. They will also visit Punjab to play against some of the district based teams there.

“It will be a good exposure for the boys. We plan to play some 60 to 70 matches by December so that the team will be beefed up early next year.

“I want a bigger pool of players so that we will be able to recreate the days when we had much talent to choose from,”

Malay Mail